Zinke Pulls Florida From Offshore Drilling Plan

Waters off the coast of Florida will not be opened to oil and gas drilling for now, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Tuesday.

The DPP would sharply expand Outer Continental Shelf waters across the country to exploration and development. Is tourism not an important economic driver form them?

Zinke ensured Scott, a term-limited governor who is considering a Senate bid, was given credit.

"I have witnessed Governor Scott's leadership through hurricane season and am working closely with him on Everglades restoration". "And I can tell you Florida is well served". This is going to be at least a year with public comment. "I don't believe it", he said in a statement. "I will never stop fighting for Florida's environment and our pristine coastline".

After the Trump administration promised Florida that the state would be exempt from expanded offshore oil drilling, other coastal states had just one question: "What about us?" He wanted to know why the administration chose to exclude Florida from its plan for offshore drilling while not also excluding Virginia. "I'm opposed to drilling". "Let's figure out how we can do it safely". In the Northeast, there is the real fear of oil spills behind the arguments against Trump's plan to tap all the domestic oil and gas it can in pursuit of US dominance in the global energy markets.

So why not do the smart thing and rescind the proposal to open the federal waters to more drilling, and let the local non-oil economies chug along without fear of oil-covered birds, dead fisheries and tarry beaches?

"Florida is obviously unique", Zinke said.

In a speech Wednesday on the Senate floor, Nelson said he sent Zinke a letter asking about the issue and whether Floridians will have a say.

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"I am proud to announce that [Interior] Secretary [Ryan] Zinke has agreed to remove Florida's coastline from consideration for future oil drilling".

Observers were quick to note that the move likely had political motivations, handing Scott and other Florida Republicans - who had been outspoken in their opposition to the plan - a win.

Andrew Cuomo, New York's Democratic governor, tweeted: "New York doesn't want drilling off our coast either. Where do we sign up for a waiver @SecretaryZinke?".

The White House isn't returning Kate Brown's phone calls.

California's Attorney General Xavier Becerra posted on Twitter following the announcement that by using the same criteria as Florida, California should also be exempted.

"California is also "unique" & our coats are heavily reliant on tourism as economic driver". Susan Glickman, Florida Director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, said the only reason to allow seismic testing is to find places to drill.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland also came out against the plan and said he would attempt to block the drilling.

"The Maine lobster industry, for example, has an estimated $1.7 billion impact to the state's economy annually, not to mention the many other fishing, aquaculture and coastal tourism industries in Maine that help to support the economy", the senators wrote.

  • Tabitha Byrd